Brief #73: Vanity metrics are so 2018 💀

This content originally appeared on July 29, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe.

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Measuring the success of social media
  • Repurposing content across multiple channels
  • #BrandCrush: Chaco 💘

Measuring the success of social media

Forty-four percent (44%) of CMOs say they haven’t been able to measure the impact of social media on their business, while only twenty percent (20%) have been able to quantify social media’s success. However, recent research indicates authentic social media content is key to revitalizing the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries, while Hootsuite reported over forty-three percent (43.4%) of internet users use social networks to research brands. 

To impact revenue through social media content, you first need to understand which metrics you should be measuring. Spoiler: Vanity metrics aren’t it.

Vanity metrics are those that make you look good to others, but do not help you understand your own performance in a way that informs future strategies.

– Tableau

In marketing, vanity metrics often include

  • Number of followers
  • Likes per post
  • Number of posts

To maximize social media efforts, here’s what you should be watching instead:  

  • Engagement
  • Shares/saves
  • Bounce rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Referral traffic
  • Sales
  • Return on ad spend

[It’s about] looking at engagement rate and not trying to project, ‘I think this content is great, so people will love it, and if I just keep pushing, they’ll eventually engage’ – but actually looking at how people are engaging.

– Claire Kennedy, Social Media Manager

Repurposing content across multiple channels

If people are talking about your brand, why not reshare that content across your marketing channels to show real experiences people are having with your brand? 

This not only reduces the time and expenses needed to create content from scratch, but it feels more authentic.  

For example, user-generated content (UGC) is a goldmine when it comes to increasing conversions and brand awareness. The reason? Nano- and micro-influencers tend to have better relationships with their audience (as seen by their engagement numbers), and can achieve just as many, if not more, conversions than mega-influencers and branded content. 

A screenshot of #DrunkElephant UGC on Instagram featuring product images submitted by customers. There have been 218,965 posts shared.

UGC can also facilitate your omnichannel marketing strategy, as it can be reshared online to your:

  • Website
  • Product pages
  • Booking pages
  • E-mails/Newsletters
  • Digital ads

It can also be shared offline to your:

  • Physical packaging
  • Display screens
  • Print materials
  • And more! 

With each post, potential customers can see what products (or services) are in demand, what they look like, and what type of UGC they could create. After all, half (50%) of consumers wish brands would tell them what type of content to create, so why not show them by re-sharing content your fans are already creating?

#BrandCrush: Chaco 💘

Chaco, the ultimate footwear brand for outdoor adventures, is doing a beautiful job at engaging their audience. They’re encouraging customers to share adventurous content to #ChacoNation – from tan lines to shoes – which the brand is repurposing across their social media profiles and their website. 

On Instagram, #ChacoNation has 77,441 posts (and counting). 

Chaco is also running a creative Chaco Adventure Tour – a mobile pop-up factory that repairs and designs custom shoes – and recently partnered with OARS and GRAYL to launch this awesome contest for a chance to win a 3-day rafting trip (and more prizes). 

A contest page by Chaco displaying a countdown and a UGC gallery of people submitting adventurous images

Notice they’re re-sharing UGC in their giveaway page to sprinkle in social proof and encourage more fans to participate! 👆🏼

Our take? If you want to impact your bottom line through social media, try building engagement with fans who are already creating content about your brand. Take notes from Chaco (and enter their contest). 😉